The investor visa is an appealing option for obtaining citizenship for the most sought after countries around the globe. These programs are a part of the Global Foreign Direct Investment movement, and provide an excellent route to inbound investments. Both developed as well as developing countries structure these programs in a way that they gain in terms of new economic growth and have an immediate and extensive positive impact on employment generation. Portugal is attracting investment through their Golden Visa Program.

The Golden Visa is a straightforward and flexible program with simple and clear legal requirements. The Golden Visa is clearly one of the most agreeable residency programs for investors in the world especially those who would like easier access to EU countries with a minimum stay in Portugal of 7 days in the first year of residency and 14 days in the following 2 years.

The benefits of the Golden Visa include:

  • A total stay of only 35 days during the five-year residency period;
  • This type of residency permit allows ease of access to all Schengen Countries;
  • Eligibility to apply for citizenship after six years as a resident;
  • Portugal allows dual citizenship;
  • Access to all Portuguese Public Services including health and education; and
  • Portugal offers a high quality of life, excellent cuisine and a mild climate.

The Golden Visa Investment Program offers a host of investment choices including (1) an option to buy € 500,000 in real estate (2) establishing a Portugal based company that employs more than 10 people or (3) € 1,000,000 investment in an existing Portuguese company. The preceding investment choices will offer a reduction of 20 percent in a move to entice investment in under developed areas of Portugal and to encourage the creation of jobs.

Personal taxation and pension for non-residents on all Portuguese sourced employment is charged at a preferential rate of 25% while investment and rental income is taxed at a rate of 28%. People who reside in Portugal for less than 183 days are not required to pay tax on worldwide income. Non Habitual Residents (NHR) are subject to taxation in Portugal but may benefit from preferential tax rates and in many cases, receive income and interest which are exempt from personal income tax.

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India enhanced the remittance limits under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme from USD 125,000 to USD 250,000 per person per year which can be used by an Indian citizen to fund foreign investment. Indian Nationals have shown a keen interest in foreign investments; making the Portuguese Golden Visa and other investment visas attractive investment options in the global marketplace.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.